I often get asked this question by my English friends and clients:
Where can I buy LARD in France? Or why can’t I find LARD in France?
Lard is called SAINDOUX in French. You can find it in any supermarket in France, near the pre-packed pâtés or Rillettes (spreadable pâtés), or the fresh charcuterie (deli) section. NOT near the butter and margarine!
I have just bought some to make a pie and the pastry was really crunchy. It is extremely cheap, for instance I paid 1.66 euros for a 250g pack.
I have always used butter instead but lard (Saindoux) makes a nicer pastry.
There are various uses for saindoux, including sweet and savoury, ranging from cooking stewed fruit to black pudding. My French neighbour’s grandmother used to grease her waffle maker with it, giving her waffles a much lovelier taste. She also used to serve it to the children spread on bread with sugar as a snack after school.
The savoury version is very similar, but with paprika and salt instead of sugar, or simply with salt and pepper. Generally, people use it instead of oil or butter in traditional dishes such as choucroute, and also when making homemade patés.
Saindoux, like lard, is a cheap and versatile ingredient, very easy to find in France… so long as one looks in the correct supermarket aisle!